July 27, 2010

Santiago pig puppet

The kids, Mike and I were walking down the street in Santiago, Chile one early evening and peered into this storefront window.

We must have looked hungry because the owner waved, then reached behind a display case and brought up a giant pig head, which he started shaking at us. It looked as if he'd slipped it on his hand, like a porky pink puppet. The grinning head bobbed up and down, inviting us in. Not even Dana, our then still-budding vegetarian, could resist.

We went into the shop and perused the cases stuffed with deep-hued, hand-tied sausages, and the hooves, ears and other pig parts hanging from hooks or laid in neat rows on ice.

The meat man now hoped we were hot prospects who'd come in to buy dinner and asked which pig parts senora would like him to wrap for us. What would we have?

Oh, I explained, somos turistas. If only our hotel room had a refrigerator, we would surely try some of this and some of that! But, sadly, we'd have to leave empty-handed. Que dolor.

The owner sympathized, then he and and the pig head nodded graciously as we said our goodbyes.